10 Ways to Jazz Up Lemonade
March, 2015 · By Coryanne Ettiene
There is nothing better on a hot day than a glass of freshly made lemonade. But why stop with just lemons? I love the simplicity of homemade lemonade and how simple it is to jazz it up using basic ingredients that you already have on hand in the kitchen. What’s more, you can let it rest all day and when the clock strikes 5, add a little something something.
Having a lemonade stand is a right of passage that all children should experience, and this summer we are ringing in that tradition in a big way. Thanks to my friend Sam from Today’s Nest, we have an HGTV approved lemonade stand that is sitting in the garage waiting for the perfect Saturday afternoon to set up shop. Truth be told, if it was not for Sam’s stand, the children would not be selling in style, which means that we can’t just have any old lemonade, we need fancy pants lemonade to match the fancy pants stand — check it out here. And not one to miss an opportunity to play in the kitchen, darling Xander is recipe testing his favorite recipes for the occasion. The house favorite is the classic strawberry lemonade, but there is much more to lemonade than just adding fresh strawberries.
The tartness of lemon plays so well with fresh herbs and sweet fruit that it is a shame not to play with them all in some form. Next time you reach for you lemonade pitcher, try mixing up a batch of these great recipes, recipe tested by Xander, and greedily drunk by yours truly.
- Blueberry and Lavender — Is there anything more aromatic than lavender? We like this one a bit on the pulpy side and use an immersion blender to smooth out the blueberries and then add the lemonade. Lavender, can be quite aromatic, I like to use it as an accent rather than infuse the lemonade with it. Of course, Gin goes beautifully with lavender; just saying.
- Peach, nectarine and rosemary — Show stopping Italian stallion of the lemonade world. More for the grown ups than for the children; I love this made with sparkling water and splash of Limoncello. The rosemary can be very strong, so use it sparingly. Either as an accept once the lemonade is done, or infuse your simple syrup with just a 1 inch sprig.
- Cherry — Seriously great stuff. There are 2 ways to make this, fresh cherries chopped or by making a quick cherry compote, allowing it to cool and adding a spoonful to the lemonade. When I make it for the children, we freeze a few cherries and use them as ice, when I make it for me….dare I say I soak the cherries in Bourbon first?
- Cucumber — If you need a spa moment, this is a great second option. Really hydrating and so easy to drink. I really should drink more water and when I make this, I drink gallons of it. Thinly sliced cucumber, lemon, water…no sugar and when I’m feeling fancy, a sprig of mint. Perfection.
- Mango and coconut — Need a vacation? This will take you there. Swap out the water for coconut water, and add chopped mango and if you are feeling fancy, a few sprigs of mint. If you need a little something something, splash in some white rum.
- Raspberry and Peach — Nothing sweeter on the planet. This is a favorite in our house. I take shortcuts by buying frozen peaches and mashing up fresh raspberries, then adding a little fizz by using sparkling water.
- Cantaloupe – Our middle son is a melon lover, and this is by far his favorite lemonade. It is crisp, sweet and tart without being sugary. Ball out a cantaloupe add it to the lemonade, skip the sugar and use flat water. Summer in a glass.
- Cilantro and Jalapeño — A little taste of the border, this packs a punch and is fabulous served with … Tequila. Slightly grassy with a heat that hits you at the back of your throat, this little number is a back yard party in a glass. Just add 1 thinly sliced, de-seeded Jalapeño and a handful of cilantro to a tall pitcher of lemonade made using a simple syrup.
- Ginger — Oh yeah, this one is a winter favorite that I can’t help but serve chilled in the summer. Grate a 1/2 inch knob of fresh ginger into your lemonade, add a splash of simple syrup and if you want a little taste of fall, a pinch of cinnamon.
- Slush is up — On a really hot day, take any of the recipes above, and blend them into a lemonade slushy.